PureInsight | January 2, 2006
[PureInsight.org] I read an article, titled "Fundamental Changes Begin with Reading Zhuan Falun Together." I was deeply touched and moved by the article. The practitioner's sincere words touched my heart, one that had been unable to achieve breakthroughs in cultivation and failed to practice diligently. Like the writer of the article, I am also a Dafa disciple living outside of Mainland China. The article made me clearly recognize many of my shortcomings and my attachment to comfort and pleasure, which had troubled me for many years.
In the past, I had thought about why I have obtained the Fa and been conducting my life in a comfortable overseas environment. Later I realized that I was given the good environment so I would be able to take advantage of the good conditions overseas and contribute more to the Fa-rectification. However, I hadn't fully undertaken the responsibility that an overseas Dafa disciple ought to take during the Fa-Rectification process. For instance, I only started to do Dafa work after I realized that it was my responsibility to do so. However, I did not take any initiative from the bottom of my heart to clarify the truth by using any method that I could find. I held myself in a passive position. When I studied Fa, I felt like I was completing a task. Many times I felt very sleepy and wanted to go to sleep when I started to study the Fa. For a long period of time I hadn't gained any understanding of the inner meanings of the Fa. Because I only studied the Fa on and off, sometimes it took me more than a month to finish reading Zhuan Falun once. Without having a good understanding of the Fa and using the Fa as the guide in cultivation, how could I possess righteous thoughts and righteous action under such a situation?
I felt deeply ashamed of myself. Throughout Mainland China, the evildoers are still running around wantonly, and justice and compassion are being trampled on. While fellow cultivators in China were being mentally persecuted and physically tortured, I allowed myself to enjoy a life of comfort and pleasure here overseas. On the surface, I was busy every day. But I did not know what I was busy doing. In fact, my life was devoid of meaning. In addition, I was also very lazy and I slept a lot.
All those small things reflect the fact that I hadn't been making efforts to achieve breakthroughs in my own cultivation, I hadn't been responsible to myself, and I hadn't valued the good Fa-rectification environment overseas. Teacher teaches us: "Did you know that Fa-rectification disciples who aren't able to come through the Fa-rectification period will not have another chance to cultivate, because throughout history you have already been given all the best things? Today you have barely had any hardship in your personal cultivation, and you haven't been asked to bear the enormous sins yourselves that you committed over your many lifetimes. Meanwhile, I have enabled you to raise your levels in the fastest way, kept everything good from your past, replenished things with what's better at every level for you, always given you in cultivation all the most magnificent things of every realm, and have made it possible for you to return after Consummation to your highest realm's position. These are the things that can be made known to you. There is more, which you can't know about at this time. Dafa disciples are magnificent because you are here at the same time as the period of Master's Fa-rectification and are able to safeguard and uphold Dafa. If what you do is no longer worthy of a Dafa disciple, think about it, if under the greatest mercy since the beginning of heaven and earth and under Buddha's infinite grace you still can't do well, how could there be another chance? Cultivation and Fa-rectification are serious. Whether you are able to treasure this period of time is, in fact, a matter of whether you can be responsible to yourselves." (From "Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples") I had been living within my own notions for quite a long time. I really wanted to jump out of it.
After I read the article, I thought that studying the Fa with other practitioners would help me. I contacted some local practitioners and invited them to study the Fa together. A fellow cultivator Xiao Min agreed that we must change our lazy state, and said that she was willing to join the group study at any time. I also made a phone call to Old Sun. He was not too enthusiastic about my idea. He felt that studying the Fa in a group and studying the Fa on one's own had the same effect, and he thought it would be impossible for us to gather more than once a week because all of us were too busy and lived too far apart. I told him, "We will make more progress if we study the Fa more as a group. There are many things that we need to overcome. Otherwise we would always be stuck in our current state where we do meet together once a week to study the Fa but it seems that we are just going through the motions and trying to finish a chore. We should study together often. Once we study the Fa well, we will naturally be able to do better. Attending the group Fa study is also to step out of our own senses of selves that we hold onto stubbornly. In addition, you also have a car, and it is very easy for us to get together…" Finally Old Sun reluctantly agreed to give the regular group Fa study a try. I also contacted a westerner practitioner. He told me that he was too busy with his work and wouldn't be able to join us for a least several months.
So Xiao Min, Old Sun, and I began our group Fa study together. Both Xiao Min and I had flexibile schedules. My job requires me to spend quite a bit of time away from the office, so I could manage my own schedule. Xiao Min had a very open schedule and could join us whenever we asked her. Once we decided beforehand when we would start the Fa study, Old Sun would drive his car and pick up Xiao Min and me, and we then would study the Fa in Old Sun's car.
Each of us experienced a different level of interference. For myself, I had once studied sorcery techniques before I obtained the Fa. I stopped doing that after I obtained the Fa. But from time to time, those things came back to me, and I couldn't help myself from trying them out again. When I read the Fa, sometimes I would stop reading the exact words from the book. Instead I would add or alter the words based on my own thinking. When I studied the Fa with Xiao Min and Old Sun, I read a line in Chapter Three wrong. The two fellow practitioners corrected my mistake, and only then did I realize that I had read the line wrong during the last several years based on my own understandings. It revealed that I had not completely put down those witchcraft things. I was able to find the root of my problem.
For Old Sun, when reading the Fa, he made pauses based on his own understanding about the Fa with obvious perceptual and emotional intonation. Most of the time, he was unable to complete a whole sentence with a stable and calm tone without pausing. We told him about that. But he had already gotten used to it, and he tried very hard to get rid of it. For Xiao Min, she was always absent-minded during the Fa study. When she looked at the Dafa book and listened to a fellow practitioner reading the Fa out loudly, after a while her hands would begin to shake as she got very sleepy and became absent-minded. Starting on the fourth day, because of bad things that we were each experiencing during the group Fa study, we sent righteous thoughts before we began to study Fa to clear all evils that had been interfering with us. We persisted in doing that, and we began to see better results with our Fa study.
It took us only six days to finish reading Zhuan Falun once. On the seventh day, after we finished reading the first Chapter, we exchanged our understandings in a very honest and open manner. Old Sun said that he had thought that there was no difference between group Fa study and individual Fa study, and therefore he had never paid any attention to group study. He attended our group study very reluctantly because I persuaded him to do so. However, he saw great changes in himself once he began to attend our group study. He used to be very busy because many friends of his frequently came to visit him and asked him to do things for them. He did those things one after another, and had little time for himself. After he started to attend our group study, none of his friends came to visit him anymore. He became more relaxed and had more time in his hands. He changed a lot because of Fa study. He works in a shop with a female boss who has a very bad temper. She often loses her temper at Old Sun over little things. One day she felt that Old Sun had translated something that she asked him to translate wrong. She gave him a good scolding right to his face. Old Sun could not help from arguing with her. Afterwards Old Sun became angrier and angrier with her. On the 6th day of our group Fa study, his boss once again lost her temper and yelled at him. This time Old Sun did not get angry with her. He thought to himself, "I shouldn't be angry with her. She is a poor lady." As soon as he thought of that, he felt a hot current running through his body and he could feel a change even in his bone marrow. The duration of his abstention from anger was three to four times longer than what he had imagined in the past.
Xiao Min had also changed a lot through Fa study. She used to have dry skin and she always had to put a lot of cream on her skin. However, after she attended our group Fa study for just several days, her skin had became more delicate and smooth, even though she forgot to put cream on her skin. She also saw an improvement in her relationship with her family.
I also made great progress myself. I had to get up earlier for our group study. I became a lot less lazy and gained a clearer mind. I became more tolerate and open-minded, and no longer got stuck over a small thing and couldn't find my way out of it. I also knew what I should do in the future more clearly.
On the seventh day, when we said good-bye, Old Sun took many truth-clarification flyers. He told us that he was going to drive a colleague to the largest airport of the country that night to pick up that colleague's child and then drive the child to a school in a city very far away from our city. Therefore, he wouldn't be back until the next morning. But he still wanted to participate in our group Fa study, and told us to wait for his phone call about the time for Fa study the next morning.
The next morning I woke up at 5:20 AM. I hesitated a little and couldn't decide whether I should get up or not. I felt sleepy so I went back to sleep. I didn't wake up until 7 AM. I picked up my mobile phone and saw a short message from Old Sun, which said that he was going to arrive at my place at 6:20 AM for our group Fa study. I rushed downstairs. Xiao Min and Old Sun were already there waiting for me. They knew that I had overslept. Old Sun told me that they were trying to memorize Teacher's scripture while they waited for me and they had memorized two paragraphs from Teacher's scripture "Expounding on the Fa" from Essentials for Further Advancement. I realized that I had not completely removed my attachment to comfort and pleasure.
Old Sun shared his experience of distributing truth-clarification materials at the airport the previous evening. A lot of people, including Chinese people, gladly took the materials. After he drove his colleague's child to the city where the child would start his school, he didn't rest or go out to dinner. Instead, he went out again to distribute truth-clarification materials to the local residents there. We were genuinely happy for Old Sun when we heard his story. In the past I had to deliver truth-clarification materials to his door and encourage him to step forward to clarify the truth. Now he was taking his own initiative to obtain truth-clarification materials and grasp every opportunity to clarify the truth. Old Sun has truly stepped forward and has been making great strides in his cultivation practice. His story encouraged us to be more diligent.
It was a Saturday. Old Sun drove us to a park and we studied the Fa on a long bench together. After we finished one lecture of Zhuan Falun, Old Sun suggested that we practice Falun Gong exercises together at the park and then clarify the truth to people. We started practicing Falun Gong exercises right away. After a while, I noticed that several little boys were watching us practice the Falun Gong exercises. Some of them lay on the lawn and others sat on the long bench. As soon as we finished practicing the first exercise, those little boys ran toward us and gathered around us. They wanted us to teach them the exercises. The youngest boy among them was about six or seven years old. He giggled happily while he was copying our movements. We had no idea why he was happy. Perhaps his knowing side knew that Falun Gong is the source of his true happiness in life. How could he not be excited? He was a fast learner and was able to do the movement correctly in no time. The other boys were envious.
After we finished practicing the exercises, Xiao Min brought out a stack of truth-clarification materials. Before Xiao Min was able to hand them out, the boys had already surrounded her and extended their cute little hands demanding to get copies of the materials. When one of the boys realized that there were two types of flyers, he asked for a copy of each. Next all the other kids wanted to have both versions. Only after they had all received both flyers, did they bid us farewell happily. As we were watching them leave, several of them jumped up and down, waving goodbye to us. We waved at them in return. I thought, "It is the most beautiful thing in their lives to be able to know and learn Falun Gong in the Fa-rectification period." It is just as a fellow Falun Gong practitioner puts it, "After I traveled all over the world, I realized that Falun Gong is the most beautiful thing." Next we started distributing truth-clarification materials to the passers-by.
The ninth day was a Sunday. It was a sunny day without any dark cloud in the sky. When I stepped out of the building, I immediately notice Old Sun's car. It stood out against the beautiful contrast of the blue sky and white clouds. His car had a makeover. It now looked very full of life. Old Sun had posted messages on the hood and the rear windshield of the car. The message on the hood is "Truthfulness Compassion Forbearance" in both Chinese and English. The message on the rear windshield is "Falun Dafa is good" in both Chinese and English. Old Sun said, "There are not too many Falun Gong practitioners here. At present we can't clarify the truth outdoors everyday, but at least my car can now cam act as a Falun Gong spokesperson. It can tell everyone, including those people from China, that Falun Gong is good. I hope that those Chinese people who see the messages on my car will relay what they observe overseas to their friends and families in China." Old Sun was very thoughtful. From then on, wherever he goes, his car will deliver the truth to people.
The three of us agreed that we should go out to clarify the truth. We studied one lecture of Zhuan Falun before we got ready to leave for a small town to spread the Fa. During the smooth ride on the highway, we felt very happy with anticipation. We knew many people would notice the eye-catching messages on Old Sun's car. Now his car would help more people know that Falun Gong is good. We could hardly express our happiness. After about an hour, we arrived at a park in the small town and started demonstrating Falun Gong exercises and clarifying the truth about Falun Gong to passersby. The town folks were very friendly and glad to learn the truth about Falun Gong. An overseas Chinese resident in town told us, "In the summer of 1999, I went to China for a business trip and learned that the Chinese Communist regime had started persecuting the kindhearted group of Falun Gong practitioners. It has been several years since then. If I hadn't run into you today, I would have long forgotten about the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong." He told us that we had done a great thing and that Falun Gong practitioners are kindhearted people. He added that there is nothing wrong with practicing Falun Gong and that he supports our cause. We gave him a copy of Falun Gong truth-clarification material and conveyed our gratitude for his support.
Next we went to the town's downtown area to distribute the flyers. We each took half a bag of truth-clarification materials. Each bag was heavy. Xiao Min commented, "So many materials! It will take us at least three hours to distribute them all." I replied, "We must not be attached to time. It is important that we have the right mentality when we clarify the truth. We should be genuine and sincere when we do it. We are bringing Teacher's salvation to sentient beings. We are doing the most righteous thing in the universe. We should not be attached to time. We should let go of all human notions."
We walked in the downtown area while distributing the truth-clarification materials. When we came to a small intersection, I was unable to proceed because there were a lot of passers-by here. I distributed the flyers as fast as I could. A lot of people smiled at me when they approached me, took the flyers with a friendly smile and said thank you. Some walked just past me but turned back to take the flyers. A cute little boy took a flyer and said to me aloud, "Xie Xie! (thank you in Chinese)" His voice was loud and clear as bell. I genuinely wished that all the sentient beings would know and accept that Falun Gong is good. I repeatedly said, "Falun Dafa is good," in Chinese. It seemed that they could understand me.
With a peaceful and compassionate mentality, I kept distributing Falun Gong truth-clarification flyers. Gradually I felt I had become one entity with all the passers-by from four directions. This must be a manifestation of the power of Falun Dafa. Before I knew it, I had finished distributing all the flyers in hand in less than 30 minutes. I waited for a while and soon Xiao Min and Old Sun returned in triumph. When we truly want what's best for the sentient beings from the bottom of our heart and when we exhibit righteous thoughts and righteous actions, we become a positive influence on everyone and everything around us.
There is a western fellow practitioner in our area. After he witnessed the substantial improvements in us, he wanted to join our group Fa study and truth-clarification activity as well. In just nine short days, the three of us removed a layer of humanness. Before we knew it, we have transcended the mundane world. I knew very well that I had once been selfish and I failed to fulfill my responsibility as a Falun Gong disciple. When I was taking "slow and leisurely steps," I was stuck in the mud that is the human realm. I failed to identify the severe consequences of my lack of diligence in my cultivation practice. When I was taking "slow and leisurely steps," it was our compassionate and admirable Teacher who silently endured my sins. When I was taking "slow and leisurely steps," the countless sentient beings corresponding to my universe were anxiously waiting for my improvement because they had been unable to obtain salvation on account of my lethargy. When I was taking "slow and leisurely steps," I failed to display the noble, generous and selfless image of a genuine Falun Gong disciple in the Fa-rectification period. Now I feel the three of us have awakened from a long sleep because we have created up a road to group Fa study and truth-clarification. This is only a beginning. We shall cherish this wonderful environment for group Fa study and truth-clarification and we shall complete our path all the way to the end.
Translated from: http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2003/4/30/49429.html